CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Purdue women’s basketball team picked up its second straight road win and its sixth victory in the Boilermakers’ last seven outings Sunday at Illinois, dealing the Fighting Illini a 73-54 defeat at the State Farm Center. Sophomore Dominique Oden and senior Andreona Keys paced the Old Gold & Black with 22 and 21 points, respectively, as Purdue improved to 16-8 overall and 7-3 in conference play.
The Boilermakers led wire-to-wire Sunday, racing out to a 22-8 lead and never really looking back as they dealt Illinois its 12th straight loss and dropped them to 0-11 in Big Ten action. Oden and Keys scored consistently throughout the game, resulting in Oden’s fourth 20-point showing in her last five games and Keys’ fifth 20-point performance of the season.
Purdue shot a blistering 64 percent in the second half, including 9-of-12 in the third quarter where Oden, Keys and freshman Karissa McLaughlin combined for 23 points and pushed the Boilermakers out to a 14-point lead, 54-40. The advantage continued to stretch in the fourth and final quarter, pushing out to as many as 25, 71-46, before Purdue head coach Sharon Versypcleared the bench.
Keys cracked the 1,100-point career scoring total Sunday, hitting on 10-of-18 from the floor, while adding five assists, three rebounds and two steals, while Oden continued her torrid scoring pace, knocking down 8-of-13, including a pair of 3’s. Sophomore Ae’Rianna Harris took only three shots for the game, scoring three points, but filled up the stat sheet with eight rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals, and classmate Lamina Cooper had eight points, four rebounds and four assists. McLaughlin finished with 12 points, five rebounds and three assists, marking her second straight game in double figures.
The Boilermakers look to protect their perfect Big Ten Conference home record Thursday, hosting Minnesota for a 7 p.m. ET tip at Mackey Arena. After Sunday’s results Purdue is alone in fourth place in the conference, trailing Nebraska and Ohio State by a half game. The Boilermakers have four of their last six games in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena, following up Thursday’s game against Minnesota with a Monday matchup, Feb. 12, against archrival Indiana.